When it comes to Lords of the Fallen, its developers Deck 13 and CI Games have not been shy about its similarities to Dark Souls. At a recent extensive showcase of the game, executive producer Tomasz Gop openly embraced the comparison. Gop said the game has its similarities to the Dark Souls series, but was confident it would be able to ultimately stand on its own.

During that showcase, Gop played through a section of the game leading up to a boss. At E3 this year, I got a chance to play that same section myself. I expected it to feel like Dark Souls, but even with those expectations, I was still surprised at how similar the two games are.

I recently spent a lot of time with Dark Souls II, but put the game down when I beat it. It’s now been two weeks since I touched the game, but I immediately felt the muscle memory take over when I picked up Lords of the Fallen. The controls were mapped the same, and even special attacks used in Dark Souls – like tapping up on the control stick and the more powerful shoulder button attack simultaneously for a leaping attack – worked exactly the same.

The same tactics I used in Dark Souls II like relying heavily on rolling to avoid attacks, also felt the same and even looked similar. Additionally, when I died, I received an alert on screen that I had recovered lost experience when I returned to the area I was killed.

There are a few elements different from Dark Souls that I saw in my demo, but it will take playing the full game to see if these changes will be substantial to the complete experience. Lords of the Fallen is a brighter game with more color. It’s a dreary, danger around every corner world, but I spotted shades of purple, blue, and red that would seem out of place in Dark Souls. Lords of the Fallen also seems more accommodating to the player. In one instance, I was being chased by a large shielded enemy that fell through a covered hole in the ground that I was able to walk over without issue. I didn’t defeat the boss in my demo, but I did pick up his patterns much faster than I did fighting any Dark Souls bosses. I am confident I could have defeated the boss with only a few more tries.

It’s not a complaint that the game feels so similar to Dark Souls. It’s a favorable comparison and I don’t think there is any reason not to recommend Dark Souls fans keep an eye on the game, but I was blown away at just how much I felt like I was playing Dark Souls. There are some potential avenues for Lords of the Fallen to use to set itself apart from Dark Souls, like its story, its pre-determined protagonist, and the elements listed above, but it will take a much deeper dive into the game to see if it truly can stand on its own as Tomasz Gop predicts it will. For now, rest assured that if you enjoy Dark Souls, Lords of the Fallen will offer a similar experience and from what I played, it's worth your interest and excitement.